September 22nd, 2008
12:20 PM ET
14 years ago

Senior McCain aide skewers New York Times

CNN

Watch: A McCain audience member condemns the media coverage of Sarah Palin.

(CNN) - McCain senior adviser Steve Schmidt accused the New York Times Monday of being “in the tank” for Barack Obama’s presidential bid, and charged the Democrat’s team with a “campaign of intimidation” directed at his critics.

“Whatever by the New York Times once was, it is today not by any standard a journalistic organization,” said Schmidt, on a conference call with reporters. “It is a pro-Obama advocacy organization that every day attacks Senator McCain, attacks Governor Palin and excuses Senator Obama.

“There is no level of outrage directed at his deceptive ads. There is no vetting...This is an organization that is completely, totally 150 percent in the tank for the Democratic candidate,” said Schmidt, saying later: “We would hope in the last 43 days of this campaign… that there is a restoration to some degree of a level of symmetry in coverage.”

The former Bush adviser has been an increasingly vocal media critic. Earlier this month, he accused journalists of being on a “mission to destroy” Sarah Palin, and called a Times investigative report on the vetting process that preceded her selection as McCain’s running mate a “work of fiction.”

Schmidt also told reporters on the call, “There is no question that there is a fierce campaign of intimidation directed at any critic of Obama’s” by his campaign.

But McCain aides backed away from claims last week that Obama had pressured Senator Hillary Clinton into backing out of an appearance at a rally where Governor Sarah Palin would be in attendance, and of pushing organizers to disinvite the Republican VP nominee, with campaign manager Rick Davis saying instead that the incident demonstrated a “failure of leadership” by the Democratic nominee.


Filed under: Candidate Barack Obama • John McCain
soundoff (349 Responses)
  1. Another Republican for Obama

    Just be aware people, that this is typical strategy #1 for my pathetic party. When you get in the dumps like McCain is right now, a little "blame it on the liberal media" magically surfaces to distract you from McCain's problems. Notice that crybaby Schmidt didn't address a single issue or problem McCain and Palin have – he just whines about the media.

    Don't be distracted. Vote the issues, not who whines more.

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  2. Ken Pittsburgh

    a campaign of intimidation and lies sounds like Fox News to me. Opps.

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  3. WhoIsPalin?

    The TRUTH HURTS. I say who cares about what McCain's puppetmaster Steve Schmidt has to say!?!? Keep up the good work NYT! CNN really appreciate your FACT-CHECK articles if only Fixed News could follow your leadership...

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  4. JD in NC

    This is a great strategy. The McCain campaign puts out lie after lie, but when they are called on it they blame the "liberal media". Never mind that it was the same media that kept mcCain afloat during the Republican primaries.

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  5. just me

    his campaign wants to talk about change. the only thing that changed from 2004 to 2008 is steve schmidt's employer. from bush to mccain.

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  6. Lisa G of PA

    The New York Times had been a beacon for fair, balanced, investigative reporting on both presidential candidates and their running mates. My hero, Ida Tarbell, would be proud to know that at least one news organization knows how to follow the paper trail, conduct interviews, and corroborate evidence with multiple sources.

    I'm not seeing that from the other media, which, for the most part, are owned by large entertainment conglomerates.

    September 22, 2008 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  7. Vincie

    I don't know where the media is when it comes to Obama. The man does not have an original idea in his head. When this problem with the economy started McCain gavie his ideas on what to do. Obama said nothing. Now obama is saying the same things that McCain said three days ago. Obama did this with Hillary Clinton. Wait for her ideas then steal them. The media is quick to go after McCain, but Obama they are mum on how he operates. I wish the media would go after him like they went after Hillary Clinton and are now going after McCain. The man is an empty shell.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  8. Ex-Republican for Obama

    then you should disavow Fox broad casting stations as well...they are so in the gutter with Republicans it's blatantly obvious. And fyi: Sue yourself for being biased while you are at it....

    MORON / Lobbyist / Criminal / in other words "Republican"

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  9. Loud & Proud Leftie

    Wow! According to John McCain, the NYT is way more menacing than his captives at the Hanoi Hilton.

    John McCain: "The only POW who appears to have been brainwashed AFTER being released from captivity/" (courtesy of the Daily Show)

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  10. Phil-Texas

    McCain's bunch can't take the truth. They have to attack anyone that has the guts to tell the truth. Lie lie lie al the time it is like listening to GWB all over again. If his lips are moving he is lying. I don't understand how people can hear lie after lie and then go on and believe every word that spews from the repuklican's mouth. We have a 8 year history of lies and deciet from this administration McCain included and now he is taking up the lie banner and wrapping himself in it like it is the flag. Shame on you Mccain.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  11. Tim from Buffalo

    Another attempt by the McCain campaign to play the refs.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  12. Deb, Allentown, PA

    So any news organization that questions McCain is "in the tank for Obama"? The McCain campaign continues to astound me with the level of their hypocrisy.

    It is absolutely pertinent that we know everything about the people working on these campaigns. It was important to know about the lobbyist for Georgia on McCain's campaign, just as it's important to understand that Davis worked for the mortgage industry. We need to know where McCain's loyalties, and those of his potential administration, lie.

    Did you all notice that McCain's lapdog, Tucker Bounds, refused to commit to NOT having Gramm, he of the "nation of whiners" and "mental recession" comments, as the Treasury Secretary?

    We need to vote smart. We need to vote for someone who actually stands a chance at restoring this country to its former glory. We need to vote Obama/Biden.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. GARY

    OBAMA IS A LOOSE CANNON FOR THIS COUNTRY. AMERICA WILL BE MAKING THE WORST MISTAKE ELECTING A GREENHORN WITH A FOLLOWING OF HATERS. THEY THREATENED RACE WARS IF HE DONT WIN. BRING IT ON. THATS THE CHANGES OBAMA HAS BROUGHT HATE,DIVISION ,AND RACIST. OBAMA TALKS CHANGE ,BUT PUTSN US BACK IN TIME 100 YRS. OR MORE. MCCAIN PICKS A VP. AWAY FROM WASHINGTON AND A FEMALE AT THAT. NOW THATS REAL CHANGE. OBAMA PICKS OLD POLITICS IN BIDEN FROM WASHINGTON AND ALSO VOTED FOR WAR HE TRASHED HIS OWN CANIDATE HRC ABOUT. OBAMA IS JUST BIAS AND HUNG UP ON HIMSELF. MCCAIN/PALIN COUNTRY FIRST THAN REFORM.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Mike in Columbus

    Obama sites sources in his ads, while McCain lies through his dishonorable teeth. And, he picked to the perfect partner in Palin, whose entire image and record has been based on one lie after another.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  15. indy

    The New York Times and NBC have been pretty transparent in their support of Obama....much in the way that Fox is in their support of McCain.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  16. Shane

    I guess the truth hurts this time, GOP!

    Keep it up, NY Times.

    Obama/Biden '08

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  17. JD in Moraga, CA

    So can Steve Schmidt actually read, or is it just his job to throw tantrums like a 4-year-old?

    "Media bias" has become the excuse-of-choice in the modern era...get over it.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  18. katiec

    Hey, when you run a campaign strictly on lies, distortions,
    attacks and than you have the audicity to cry wolf about the
    truth, well, does not make sense.
    Palin not getting a fair shake. When all comes out about
    her, if the media does it's job, it will be the end of the
    republican ticket.
    You cannot be a total phony and it not eventually catch
    up with you.
    Mccain/palin, we voters are not stupid.
    Neither of you are fit to even think of leading our country.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  19. Chris

    Wow, strong statements against one of the most respected news papers in the world...

    Cheer up McCain, after you have lost the election you will still have (most of) your money, cars, and houses.

    September 22, 2008 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  20. Consuela, Canada

    Maybe if McCain stopped lying so much you would see and I quote:

    some degree of a level of symmetry in coverage.”

    September 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  21. Undecided

    This isn't even news. Anybody who can't see that the New York Times is in the tank for Obama hasn't been paying attention.

    Don't forget about the Washington Post, MSNBC, and unfortunately CNN. I understand when political editorials let their feelings be known, but guys like Wolf Blitzer cannot show such blatant bias and then have CNN tout themselves as a legitimate news station.

    I haven't made up my mind on the election, but bias reporting swings me the opposite way.

    September 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  22. Ex-mod-GOP for Obama

    Steve,

    For your argument to be valid, there would have to be symmetry between the sins of the two campaigns. There isn't. Your campaign is much, much worse, and any dissimilarity in reporting of your misleading and downright false ads is your own fault. Quit spinning.

    September 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  23. IWASP!-Woman Against Sarah Palin!

    Why, because they are not buying your bull? Somebody, besides FACTCHECK.org, is actually calling you guys out on your lies. What's wrong with that. They see you and palin for the pathological liars you are. I'd say the New York Times was doing a great job. Keep up the great work NYT!

    September 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  24. Joe Regis

    It is everybody's fault the republicans screw up everything.

    It is time to fix America again.

    Obama/Biden 08/12.

    September 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  25. joyce

    I KNOW THIS WANT GET POSTED BUT JUST IN CASE

    boo hoo
    cry babies/ obama has had his share of mediwa bliff
    if mcsain and palin did not lie so much they would not be under attach
    what makes mcsain think he is privilaged,is it because he has 13 vehickles,9 houses, and millions of bucks. well not enought.
    as i respect mr mccains time in the military, i do not think that gives him the right to bash obama with lies. and for his running mate, she has no place in our goverment. so i say to mcsain camp
    (STOP WHINNING)

    September 22, 2008 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
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